I am blessed to say I have a friend who likes to send me website information and blog posts she thinks I will find interesting, I usually get a lot out of what she shares with me. The other day my friend messaged me the link to a recent news story which aired on CNN called 28 Internet acronyms every parent should know. Here is the link if you have a minute to watch the story:
My friend thought I would already know the acronyms mentioned in the piece...to be honest, I had no idea GNOC meant Get Naked On Camera or that IWS means I Want Sex. Neither of these surprise me, and I'd by lying if I didn't also admit there are likely dozens more acrynoms I don't know. The one thing I do know is new acronyms are being conceived everyday.
Just like there are new drugs being created and introduced all the time.
It is highly unlikely we [parents] will ever be able to keep up with the lingo and the many other changes inherent to teenagerhood. If you are the parent of a teen you might think you can keep up with your child, or even be one step ahead of your kids behavior/choices/actions...but, we've all been teenagers so I know we understand one of the basic rules about coming-of-age is: when parents get sneaky, kids get sneakier.
Take for example, cell phones. In the news story, the reporter states many parents will say something along the lines of "I pay for your phone, therefore I can look at it anytime I want to." Which the other reporter agrees is an acceptable approach. While I absolutely believe parents should check their kids phones when they feel it is necessary, the way you approach the situation has everything to do with the success of your mission. If you sneak around to try to gain access/information and if you have to put tracking devices on your kids phones, there is already a problem.
Because when you engage in a power struggle with your teen the games begin. The best way I know how to bring a child through adolescence is to continually work at building a strong relationship. It takes time, shared interests, mutual respect and (on their part) a genuine sense you are on their side.
Which in no way translates to being their friend, or giving them everything they want as a way of bribing them into the behavior you seek. It means having a clear understanding of what your morals and values are (a/k/a what your family stands for) and then consistently working towards sharing them with your child in ways that don't threaten them.
Getting your kid from point A (preteen) to point B (adulthood) requires a great deal of mental demand. At least as much as the physical demand that is placed on parents of babies and toddlers. And you cannot help your child successfully navigate through this stage of life unless YOU are working on yourself through the process of it and learning from the experiences you are having with your child.
I have some great resources and tools to share if you have interest in learning more about being the best parent you can be (notice I did not say perfect...cuz that just don't exist), I would love to share them with you. Send me your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org